Major sci-tech events in 2023
In 2023, numerous noteworthy sci-tech events are coming up that you won’t want to miss. Lunar exploration will be a major topic of discussion, with several deep space projects in store.
Various scientific facilities will be put into operation to advance basic research, while COVID-19 vaccine and drug research and development will stay at the forefront of the global medical industry.
This year, China is expecting to have a large number of launches.
China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp, the nation’s top space contractor, has stated that it will be organizing over 50 launches in 2023.
Other space companies are planning to launch around 10 flights.
In addition to the rocket launches, China will be continuing with the development of the Tianwen-2 asteroid probe and the Chang’e-7 lunar probe.
Other countries will continue their momentum in space exploration, with the moon being a main focus.
Russia plans to launch Luna-25 in 2023 to test soft landing technologies and conduct contact studies of the lunar south pole.
India’s Chandrayaan-3 mission is set to launch this year, aiming to place a lander and rover near the south pole of the moon.
The HAKUTO-R Mission 1 by a Japanese company is planning a soft landing on the moon in April.
The U.S. space agency NASA is preparing to launch its Lunar Flashlight satellite to map ice in shadowed regions near the moon’s south pole.
Additionally, the ESA’s Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer is set for launch in April and their Psyche asteroid mission will be launching in October this year.
Numerous space observatories are expected to launch this year, including the ESA’s Euclid mission which will map the universe and the JAXA’s XRISM which will observe hot gas plasma winds in galaxies.
Drug development amid COVID-19
The research and development of COVID-19 vaccines and drugs will be the main focus of the global medical community this year.
We can anticipate progress in multivalent vaccines, nasal-spray vaccines and small molecules for targeted therapies, which will give us more power to fight against COVID-19 and other contagious illnesses.
The usage of mRNA vaccines for the pandemic has spurred the development of such vaccines for other diseases.
BioNTech, a German biotechnological business, is likely to launch trials for mRNA vaccines targeting malaria, tuberculosis, and genital herpes.
Additionally, they have announced a partnership with Pfizer to evaluate an mRNA vaccine candidate to reduce the rate of shingles.
Moderna, an American biotechnological company, has mRNA vaccine candidates for the viruses that cause genital herpes and shingles.
Furthermore, we can expect new drugs and therapies. On January 6th, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a drug known as lecanemab a monoclonal antibody medication used for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, which can reduce the progression of Alzheimer’s disease in a study by 27%.
Exa-cel, a gene-editing therapy for β-Thalassaemia and sickle-cell disease, is likely to be submitted to the FDA this year.
If approved, exa-cel will be the first therapy based on the CRISPR gene editing technology to be marketed.
2023 is set to be a big year for physics, with several large-scale scientific installations coming into use. In Jiangmen, China, the underground neutrino observatory is expected to be completed, to determine the neutrino mass hierarchy.
The U.S. Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) is the world’s first hard X-ray free-electron laser and will be upgraded to LCLS-II, providing up to 1 million pulses per second and allowing for experiments that are currently impossible.
The Matter-wave laser Interferometric Gravitation Antenna (MIGA) in France is due to go into operation this year and will use cold-atom interferometry to conduct precise measurements of gravity gradients and strains.
Finally, the European Spallation Source will start its scientific user program in 2023, situated on the outskirts of Lund, Sweden.
At the 15th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15), held in the last two months of 2022, the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework was adopted under the leadership of China, to reverse biodiversity loss and set the world on the path of recovery.
This agreement includes four goals and 23 targets for achievement by 2030. China’s Minister of Ecology and Environment, Huang Runqiu, noted the urgency of harmonious coexistence between people and nature in response to the increasing frequency of natural disasters and extreme weather.
The 14th Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands and the 27th Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP27) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change were also held during this period, where participants agreed to create a “loss and damage” fund to provide financial assistance to those most affected by climate change.
Additionally, a “transitional committee” was formed to make recommendations on how to operationalize both the new funding arrangements and the fund at COP28, with the first meeting of the committee taking place before the end of March 2023.